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Thread: Accuracy of mirror images

  1. #1 Accuracy of mirror images 
    New Member Leto-Atreides's Avatar
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    How accurate are mirror images of the face? I ask this because if one looks in the mirror, one's images reverses. Does the reversal have an effect on the accuracy in showing our face? They have manufactured mirrors that show non reversed images of yourself -- I wonder how an image from one of those mirrors would differ from the image seen from the normal mirrors we encounter everyday -- would there be a significant difference or none at all?


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    The accuracy is as good as the reflection characteristics of the mirror. The reversal effect extends no further than reversal.

    If a mirror reverses left and right, why doesn't it reverse up and down?

    (A word of warning: do not trust Yueh!)


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  4. #3  
    New Member Leto-Atreides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    The accuracy is as good as the reflection characteristics of the mirror. The reversal effect extends no further than reversal.

    If a mirror reverses left and right, why doesn't it reverse up and down?

    (A word of warning: do not trust Yueh!)
    That is what I think too but check this out:
    For all of our history, when people think they see themselves, they are always seeing themselves reflected backwards. Recently, with cameras and video, they can get a sense of what they look like forwards, but its a static or non-eye to eye view. However, as it turns out, the backward images and person we see in a mirror is profoundly different from what is real. The backwardsness distorts not just our features, but the information in our faces and personalities as well. No wonder we see ourselves differently than others see us!
    http://www.truemirror.com/default.asp
    This is from the number 1 manufacturers of true mirrors/non reversed mirrors. They are saying that there is a difference between images of reversed and non reversed images and that the backwardness or reversal distorts the image. What do you think? More of their view:
    Asymmetries: In the beginning, most people have an exaggerated perception of the asymmetries. It is largely an illusion due to head tilting and the picture you have in your mind versus the picture others have of you. For example, if your nose turns - we'll say 1 degree to the left - in a traditional mirror you have always seen it turning 1 degree to the right. The first view in the True Mirror, your nose is ending up in a spot that is 2 degrees different than where you are used to seeing it. This goes the same for the head tilt, the one-higher-shoulder, the one-higher-or-bigger-eye and the sides of the mouth's different shapes, turning up or down. Our asymmetries are usually tiny, measured in millimeters, but because most people in western societies have a heightened awareness of their traditional mirror image (due to the easy availability of mirrors in this period of human history), these millimeters seem very apparent during the first few viewings in the True Mirror. Over a short time, with exposure to your non-reversed image, the non-reversed image will become more and more normal, and less and less startlingly asymmetrical. Most people who allow themselves the time to get used to it actually end up preferring it. Your image is friendlier, more normal, and more predictable (it is, after all, just "you" that you are seeing).

    Is it true? If you have someone who knows you well stand closely next to you and look at your True Mirror reflection, they will confirm that yes, this is the way you appear. They will not see the exaggerated asymmetries you see, and in fact will not even see your actual asymmetries. What they will see, and which you can finally see also, is the real person that you are - with your expressions, personality, and real emotions all intact. This can be very valuable to you in understanding your interpersonal relations - just how do you come across to others?

    Why does it work this way? Eye contact: There are a few key reasons for why the True Mirror reflects the real you. The first is the all-important eye-to-eye contact -- the strongest way we understand what people are saying. When you communicate with every other individual in the world, your eyes always meet left-eye-to-right-eye and right-eye-to-left eye. This normal biological pattern conveys information "just so". With traditional mirrors, where the right eye picks up the right-eye reflection, and the left picks up the left's, you are experiencing a highly unnatural way of gathering information about yourself. You don't communicate with anyone else in the world in that pattern. The result is that we always feel we are somehow different than everyone else, often in a negative way. It is very common for people to feel "I won't join a club that will have me" or "I know there's something wrong with me, no one else seems to see it, but I sure do." Other people report that flat mirrors create uncomfortable or pointless feelings that really don't have any good explanation.
    http://www.truemirror.com/FirstImpressions.asp
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  5. #4  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leto-Atreides
    This is from the number 1 manufacturers of true mirrors/non reversed mirrors. They are saying that there is a difference between images of reversed and non reversed images and that the backwardness or reversal distorts the image.
    1. I think if I manufactured "True Mirrors" then my marketing pitch would emphasise any benefit, real or imagined, relating to those mirrors. As a non-manufcaturer of such mirrors I would therefore place little credence in their marketing hype.
    2. I've watched hours of video of myself. (I'm not narcissistic, I just have to check the quality of training videos I've made.) I see no difference between what I see on screen and what I see in the mirror.
    3. There is no distortion as such. There may be a difference of perception. That is quite a different matter.
    4. The assymetries referred to are real, but I am unaware of any research that shows that the different visual perception produces a different opinion of character, disposition, mental state etc.
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  6. #5  
    New Member Leto-Atreides's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Quote Originally Posted by Leto-Atreides
    This is from the number 1 manufacturers of true mirrors/non reversed mirrors. They are saying that there is a difference between images of reversed and non reversed images and that the backwardness or reversal distorts the image.
    1. I think if I manufactured "True Mirrors" then my marketing pitch would emphasise any benefit, real or imagined, relating to those mirrors. As a non-manufcaturer of such mirrors I would therefore place little credence in their marketing hype.
    2. I've watched hours of video of myself. (I'm not narcissistic, I just have to check the quality of training videos I've made.) I see no difference between what I see on screen and what I see in the mirror.
    3. There is no distortion as such. There may be a difference of perception. That is quite a different matter.
    4. The assymetries referred to are real, but I am unaware of any research that shows that the different visual perception produces a different opinion of character, disposition, mental state etc.
    I do agree that it doesn't really follow that the reversal would cause any distortion or deviation with what is commonly seen by other people -- at the end of the day the reversed and non reversed images are identical. Do you think the greater degree of assymetries would cause any significant deviation from how you are viewed in a reversed image in a traditional mirror? Or is the difference miniscule?

    And it is weird -- I see a difference between the non reversed image of myself on the screen and the reversed image of myself on the mirror. I wonder at what mechanism is behind this.
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  7. #6  
    Quagma SpeedFreek's Avatar
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    It is funny, but since I was a child, when I looked in the mirror I already knew I was looking at an image that has been reflected along the y axis, and completely understood that everyone sees my face the other way round.

    My first school photo confirmed this.

    Hardly anyone has symmetrical features.

    Nobody needs a mirror that reverses the image back again - I mean, how would you use it? As you bring up your right hand to, say, put in an earring or a contact lens, the opposite hand would appear to move in the mirror.

    What use is such a mirror, except to a complete narcissist?
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  8. #7  
    New Member Leto-Atreides's Avatar
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    You were a freakin' genius for a kid -- I'm 20 and I still can't grasp what exactly I am looking at when I peer into a mirror. Yea it's a reversed image of my face, but what in the world does it mean for an image of an object (my face) to be reversed anyway?

    Anyways, I guess you could say those true mirrors would make you less uncertain of how you appear to others and a natural consequence of that is removing self doubt and boosting confidence.

    But really if as Ophiolite suggests there is no distortion of the image as a result of its reversal of the object and there is no discernable difference between the reversed image of a traditional mirror and the non reversed image of the true mirror then you should already be certain of your appearance to others with a normal mirror anyways -- after all it's a perfect gauge of what you look like.
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  9. #8  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    I don't give a rat's ass how I appear to others, so for me this discussion is entirely academic. My confidence does not derive from my appearance and I rather think this would be a good position for all to adopt.

    Note: In other threads, past or future, I may claim to adopt a bohemian style to enhance the perception of others that I am something of an intellectual and therefore smart and therefore valuable to the organisation. Such assertions should be disregarded except in as much as they provide prima facie evidence that Scotsmen should not be trusted.
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  10. #9 from the True Mirror guy 
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    This is a very old thread, but just wanted to point out a few things about the true image mirror and why it makes a difference.

    Its based on communication between people, which is primarily through our eyes and expressions. The thing is, our faces are asymmetric, not only physically, but in what information is there. Right brain/left brain stuff - aside from the over-generalizations that are tempting, the real point is that they are different, and right belongs on the right, the left on the left in order to be accurate. It can be subtle, yes, but we can read tremendous amounts of detail and nuance with eye contact and expressions...and generally our reading is pretty accurate. When you flip your face, that communication does get altered. You can prove this by watching TV backwards and try to analyze the differences. If you can see it, you can see how the effect can change your own self perception when it is you looking at yourself, every day, ever since you were a kid. The difference also gets magnified because you react to this altered version, and then react to your reaction, in a super fast, highly dynamic feedback loop.

    The net result of our mirror faces is that we tend to just stare at ourselves - the full range of our expressions just get neutralized. Smiles in particular fade very quickly, they are very asymmetric, and just look fake backwards, so we stop smiling.

    One final note, in 20 years of making and showing the True Mirror, i realized that its a reflection of all sorts of human nature (pun-intended), and i get to see it all. John Galt's disregard for the concept is entirely valid - for him. A lot of people think our physical appearance is irrelevant. Just as true are a lot of people who put a huge amount (too much perhaps) into their physical appearance, and become rather vain because if it. Interesting, that latter group tends to not like what they see - its too different and it challenges them. The best viewers are those who have thought about this kind of thing, who have worked on their own self-awareness and self-esteem, and tend to be visually oriented and naturally vivacious. Turns out if you stare in the True Mirror, there's not a whole lot of useful difference...its when you express with your face, that's when it can lead to pure amazement - they get to see the "being" part of being human. For some. Not John Galt. But enough to keep me inspired to do this, and to believe that this is actually a good thing to bring out to the world.

    Thanks for listening and for posting the question!
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